First published on globalleadership.org
I want this article to radically change every single area of your life forever.
(But it probably won’t.)
The reason is that it’s only going to cost you time to read it and many people treat their time like it’s cheap. Like it’s expendable. We (including me) spend our time like we spend other people’s money (or the money of someone we don’t like).
- We go to meetings that don’t feel valuable.
- We waste time being chronically frustrated with team members who aren’t bringing more value.
Is it possible that the biggest reason we don’t get radical value from things is that we don’t really want to get value from things? We want things to be easy. Affordable. Comfortable. We want these things more than we want value.
And not wanting to get value from things leads to waste. Wasted meetings. Wasted money. Wasted time. Wasted relationships. Wasted days. Wasted opportunities.
Not that everything becomes a waste. Not that we waste all our money or time. Only that our lives and time and relationships have waste in them.
That’s because we don’t always know how to get an ROI in our lives.
ROI means if you pay $50 did you get at least $50 of value out of it. As an example, marketing expert Seth Godin says a book is one of the best investments in the world. It costs $20 and all you need is one $20 idea from the book to make it worth it. In Seth’s opinion most books have at least 20 bucks of ideas in them.
What’s interesting, though, is that often the more we pay for something, the more motivated we are to create value from it.
Serial entrepreneur Derek Sivers observes that people given a placebo pill are twice as likely to have their pain disappear when they’re told the pill was expensive. And people who pay more for concert tickets are more likely to attend a performance.
NYT Bestselling Author Ramit Sethi writes that generally people don’t value things when they get them for free.
But back to this free article.
So, if you had to pay $50 to read this article, would it change the way you read it? Maybe you’d read it a little more slowly. Maybe you’d take some notes. Now imagine if you had to pay $500 to read this article. Now imagine if you had to pay $5,000.
What kind of value would it take for you to get $5,000 of value from this article? Sadly, this is a question leaders rarely ask.
You see, when it comes getting a return on investment, the question isn’t only “how much are you paying?” The question is “what value are you creating for your investment?”
Most people (even leaders) do not think this way.
Most people think primarily in terms of cost. They ask, “how much will this cost me?” Full stop. If they don’t like the cost, they say “no.”
- “Costers” are always searching the world for what costs the least, even if what costs the least sucks.
- Investors, on the other hand, are looking for the best ratio between cost and benefit.
An example: Imagine this article had $200,000 worth of value for you (and I promise you it does—and more). If you knew this for a fact, would you pay $2,000 to read it?
Some people (maybe you)—surprisingly—will still say “no.”
Maybe they’d say no because they don’t trust me (which is fine). Or, more likely, they’d say “no” because something being that valuable falls outside their intuitive fence (click here to see my previous article about that). Most people believe you can’t get that kind of value from reading a short article (you can) because short articles don’t have that kind of value (some do). People come pre-loaded with beliefs about value that keep them from seeing how much value they can get from anything. They think the problem is the lack of value. But really the problem is their lack of commitment to create value.
There’s a reason why we don’t get value from things. And it’s not always because we are choosing the wrong things. It’s because we’re not committed to creating value from the things we choose.
- When we’re just trying to save money, we only ask “How much does it cost?”
- But when we’re committed to ROI we ask, “What cost brings the greatest value?”
Inviting a Commitment to Creating Value
These days my clients pay thousands of dollars an hour for us to create together.
Why on earth would my clients pay that much?
Well, first off, I’m committed to out-serving anything my clients ever invest in coaching. Our company has worked with clients and companies to make tens of millions of dollars through our work and save countless hours of fruitless work and drastically increase satisfaction and love and joy in their work.
But that’s not the main reason I charge what I charge.
I charge what I charge as a way of serving my clients.
You see, the price burns when my clients hire me. I usually tell people when they’re hiring a coach, “You want the price to burn so much that it shatters your complacency and motivates you to make the most of every single second.” You want it to burn you, but you don’t want it to break you.
Recently I was talking with a client who is the president of an amazing company and she said, “Jason when I hired you, my palms were sweating.” Sweaty palms guarantee she won’t show up half-heartedly.
You see, I charge what I charge not to make it easier for people to hire me. I charge what I charge because the work I do is sacred. And I know that where a person puts their money will define what is sacred to them. I want them to value our time as sacred so they will create more value from it for themselves and for those they love and lead.
I’m committed to creating an invitation for their commitment.
Now, there are lots of ways to invite people to commitment. Sometimes it’s money. Sometimes it’s time or attention. I know a leader who mentored younger leaders only if they committed to showing up at a coffee shop at 5 a.m. on Fridays. It’s that extra pain that helped those young leaders really decide if they wanted to be there. And when they showed up, they made the most of it because they were sacrificing something to be there. It was that leader’s way of inviting others into full participation, which is how we say it at Novus Global:
Maximum Value Comes from Full Participation.
If you want a full ROI from something, ask yourself, “Am I fully participating? Am I creating as much value from this as possible? Am I utilizing this fully?”
So, look at the things you’re investing your time and money in. Look at the people you’re investing your time and money in. In your relationships. In your organizations. If you’re not getting value, ask yourself these two questions:
- Are you fully participating?
- Are you inviting others to fully participate?
In your job?
In your relationships?
In your finances?
In your spirituality?
In your community?
In your health?
In your hobbies?
In the article you’re reading right now?
And if you’re not fully participating, or others aren’t fully participating, ask yourself: What would it look like if everyone showed up to fully participate?
That’s how you get maximum value from absolutely anything.